PURPOSE To develop and evaluate a real-time phase contrast (PC) MRI protocol via complex-difference deep learning (DL) framework.
METHODS DL used two 3D U-nets to separately filter aliasing artifact from radial real-time velocity-compensated and complex-difference images. U-nets were trained with synthetic real-time PC generated from electrocardiograph (ECG) -gated, breathhold, segmented PC (ECG-gated segmented PC) acquired at the ascending aorta of 510 patients. In 21 patients, free-breathing, ungated real-time (acceleration rate = 28.8) and ECG-gated segmented (acceleration rate = 2) PC were prospectively acquired at the ascending aorta. Hemodynamic parameters (cardiac output [CO], stroke volume [SV], and mean velocity at peak systole [peak mean velocity]) were measured for ECG-gated segmented and DL-filtered synthetic real-time PC and compared using Bland-Altman and linear regression analyses. Additionally, hemodynamic parameters were quantified from DL-filtered, compressed-sensing (CS) -reconstructed, and gridding reconstructed prospective real-time PC and compared to ECG-gated segmented PC.
RESULTS Synthetic real-time PC with DL showed strong correlation (R > 0.98) and good agreement with ECG-gated segmented PC for quantified hemodynamic parameters (mean-difference: CO = −0.3 L/min, SV = −4.3 mL, peak mean velocity = −2.3 cm/s). On average, DL required 0.39 s/frame to filter prospective real-time PC, which was 4.6-fold faster than CS. Compared to CS, DL showed superior correlation, tighter limits of agreement (LOAs), better bias for peak mean velocity, and worse bias for CO and SV. Compared to gridding, DL showed similar correlation, tighter LOAs for CO and SV, similar bias for CO, and worse bias for SV and peak mean velocity. CONCLUSION The complex-difference DL framework accelerated real-time PCMRI by nearly 28-fold, enabling rapid free-running real-time assessment of flow hemodynamics.
PURPOSE To reduce inflow and motion artifacts in free-breathing, free-running, steady-state spoiled gradient echo T1-weighted (SPGR) myocardial perfusion imaging.
METHOD Unsaturated spins from inflowing blood or out-of-plane motion cause flashing artifacts in free-running SPGR myocardial perfusion. During free-running SPGR, 1 non-selective RF excitation was added after every 3 slice-selective RF excitations to suppress inflow artifacts by forcing magnetization in neighboring regions to steady-state. Bloch simulations and phantom experiments were performed to evaluate the impact of the flip angle and non-selective RF frequency on inflowing spins and tissue contrast. Free-running perfusion with (n = 11) interleaved non-selective RF or without (n = 11) were studied in 22 subjects (age = 60.2 ± 14.3 years, 11 male). Perfusion images were graded on a 5-point Likert scale for conspicuity of wall enhancement, inflow/motion artifact, and streaking artifact and compared using Wilcoxon sum-rank testing.
RESULT Numeric simulation showed that 1 non-selective RF excitation applied after every 3 slice-selective RF excitations produced superior out-of-plane signal suppression compared to 1 non-selective RF excitation applied after every 6 or 9 sliceselective RF excitations. In vitro experiments showed that a 30° flip angle produced near-optimal myocardial contrast. In vivo experiments demonstrated that the addition of interleaved non-selective RF significantly (P < .01) improved conspicuity of wall enhancement (mean score = 4.4 vs. 3.2) and reduced inflow/motion (mean score = 4.5 vs. 2.5) and streaking (mean score = 3.9 vs. 2.4) artifacts. CONCLUSION Non-selective RF excitations interleaved between slice-selective excitations can reduce image artifacts in free-breathing, ungated perfusion images. Further studies are warranted to assess the diagnostic accuracy of the proposed solution for evaluating myocardial ischemia.
AIMS Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) with late-gadolinium enhancement (LGE) is increasingly being used in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) for diagnosis, risk stratification, and monitoring. However, recent data demonstrating brain gadolinium deposits have raised safety concerns. We developed and validated a machine-learning (ML) method that incorporates features extracted from cine to identify HCM patients without fibrosis in whom gadolinium can be avoided.
METHODS AND RESULTS An XGBoost ML model was developed using regional wall thickness and thickening, and radiomic features of myocardial signal intensity, texture, size, and shape from cine. A CMR dataset containing 1099 HCM patients collected using 1.5T CMR scanners from different vendors and centres was used for model development (n=882) and validation (n=217). Among the 2613 radiomic features, we identified 7 features that provided best discrimination between þLGE and -LGE using 10-fold stratified cross-validation in the development cohort. Subsequently, an XGBoost model was developed using these radiomic features, regional wall thickness and thickening. In the independent validation cohort, the ML model yielded an area under the curve of 0.83 (95% CI: 0.77–0.89), sensitivity of 91%, specificity of 62%, F1-score of 77%, true negatives rate (TNR) of 34%, and negative predictive value (NPV) of 89%. Optimization for sensitivity provided sensitivity of 96%, F2-score of 83%, TNR of 19% and NPV of 91%; false negatives halved from 4% to 2%.
CONCLUSIONS An ML model incorporating novel radiomic markers of myocardium from cine can rule-out myocardial fibrosis in one-third of HCM patients referred for CMR reducing unnecessary gadolinium administration.
PURPOSE To develop a free-breathing sequence, that is, Multislice Joint T1-T2, for simultaneous measurement of myocardial T1 and T2 for multiple slices to achieve whole left-ventricular coverage.
METHODS Multislice Joint T1-T2 adopts slice-interleaved acquisition to collect 10 single-shot electrocardiogram-triggered images for each slice prepared by saturation and T2 preparation to simultaneously estimate myocardial T1 and T2 and achieve whole left-ventricular coverage. Prospective slice-tracking using a respiratory navigator and retrospective image registration are used to reduce through-plane and in-plane motion, respectively. Multislice Joint T1-T2 was validated through numerical simulations and phantom and in vivo experiments, and compared with saturation recovery single-shot acquisition and T2-prepared balanced Steady-State Free Precession (T2-prep SSFP) sequences.
RESULTS Phantom T1 and T2 from Multislice Joint T1-T2 had good accuracy and precision, and were insensitive to heart rate. Multislice Joint T1-T2 yielded T1 and T2 maps of nine left-ventricular slices in 1.4 minutes. The mean left-ventricular T1 difference between saturation-recovery single-shot acquisition and Multislice Joint T1-T2 across healthy subjects and patients was 191 ms (1564 ± 60 ms versus 1373 ± 50 ms; P < .05) and 111 ms (1535 ± 49 ms vs 1423 ± 49 ms; P < .05), respectively. The mean difference in left-ventricular T2 between T2-prep SSFP and Multislice Joint
T1-T2 across healthy subjects and patients was −6.3 ms (42.4 ± 1.4 ms vs 48.7 ± 2.5; P < .05) and −5.7 ms (41.6 ± 2.5 ms vs 47.3 ± 2.7; P < .05), respectively.
CONCLUSION Multislice Joint T1-T2 enables quantification of whole left-ventricular T1 and T2 during free breathing within a clinically feasible scan time of less than 2 minutes.